Joe Raedle/Getty Images
A sign indicating a new home is available for sale is seen in Miami, Florida. The Commerce Department today announced new home sales declined 32.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 in May
A sign indicating a new home is available for sale is seen in Miami, Florida. The Commerce Department today announced new home sales declined 32.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 in May Joe Raedle/Getty Images
The Political Junkie
Political Junkie Ken Rudin gives a round-up of the week's news: RNC chairman Michael Steele is in hot water after comments about Afghanistan, the president's recess appointment causes a stir in Washington, James Traficant is out of jail, but off the ballot in Ohio, and that's just the beginning. Plus, our weekly trivia question, and a closer look at the politics of immigration in Arizona.
When apartheid ended in South Africa in 1994, the new government passed a law allowing black people who had been forcibly removed from their land by whites to reclaim their property. More than a decade later, filmmaker Yoruba Richen follows two black communities as they struggle to reclaim land from white owners, some of whom have owned it for generations. The issue of land and who owns it is one of the most volatile issues in modern South Africa. Richen talks about her documentary film, Promised Land.
The housing recovery took a nosedive in May. That's after the deadline passed to sign sales contracts and qualify for federal tax credits. Not even near-record low mortgage rates could prevent the 30% slide from April to May. As always, the real estate market varies by location, but the recent drop affected every region of the country. And it's hardly a buyer's market — many would-be homeowners can't get an affordable mortgage. Fears of a double-dip recession and lingering reluctance at many banks to approve loans is working to perpetuate the downward market trend. Neal Conan talks with Dean Foust from Emory University about the current state of the housing market, when it may rebound and what changes are still to come.
Car Companies Map a Comeback
A year after Chrysler and GM emerged from government-funded bankruptcies, and months after Ford posted its first profit since the downturn began, America's Big Three automakers hope the long days of layoffs and losses are behind them. The new, leaner U.S. car companies have focused on smaller models and alternative vehicles like hybrids and all-electric cars. Sales are up dramatically over 2009 levels, but analysts point to a monthly drop in June sales — and signs that the economic troubles may linger longer than expected — to warn that the car industry may face more bumps ahead. Micheline Maynard of Changing Gears talks about the state of the auto industry, and the future of Motor City.